Driven: SSangYong Korando | Fueled

28 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Driven: SSangYong Korando | Fueled

Driven: SsangYong Korando

In the past the SsangYong car brand was better known for its more interesting and eccentric car designs with a practical but acquired taste.  Now the Korean car manufacturer is back with the first of three new models reentering the market with the impressive looking new Korando.  Placing themselves at the centre of one of the most hotly contested segments in Ireland, the compact crossover, they appear to be taking no prisoners.

At first glance, it appears to tick most of the boxes.  It has gained quite a sporty and athletic profile plus an attractive front grille, twin exhaust pipes at the rear and finished off with smart 17 inch five spoke alloy wheels.  Just the right blend of stlyling to keep the the #8216;Yummy Mummies#8217; happy and the Dads masculine.

  Inside is rather a nice place to be too with supple leather seats, a clean driver orientated cockpit with contrast brushed aluminum style plastics and a comfortable driving position.  Available in three specifications #8211; Standard, Executive and Luxury, the Korando comes with an impressive amount of kit as standard including cruise control, leather steering wheel and gearknob, puddle lamps, keyless entry, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, heated front seats and a plethera of airbags.  The interior is quite minimalist and the quality of materials used is not outstanding but overall it is a package that should stand up well against its competitors.

A compact SUV is all about practicality and the Korando nails it.  It#8217;s very spacious inside with generous legroom up front and in the rear for adults.  There are storage compartments throughout the cabin from the centre armrest, console and the glovebox, so you won#8217;t be short for storage for purses, wallets or child related parafinalia.

  It also boasts a large 486 litre boot big enough for a buggy and the weekly shopping on top complete with additional hidden storage beneath the boot floor.

The ride is quite refined and shapes up well on the harshest of Irish roads with the car feeling comfortable on most surfaces.  There is very little body roll too considering the ride height.  Powered by a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine with 175bhp and 360Nm of torque, it certainly not underpowered.

  But the power does seem to arrive all in one thump in the middle of the rev range making it feel like the engine runs out of breath and you find yourself working through the 6 speed transmission a lot faster than you would expect.  It is however a lot more refined at motorway speeds where the engine really seems to come into its own.  It#8217;s quiet and refined while cruising and the power delivery feels more balanced with the car delivering a more comfortable driving experience in this environment.

The Korando is a very capable car and sports enough kit as standard to be a worthy contendor in its segment, but it does lose out in a number of areas.  It is a bit on the pricey side starting at €25,995 for the entry level #8216;Standard#8217; specification.  It also features the 2.0 turbo diesel as standard with C02 emissions of 147g/km which pushes it into Tax Band C at €390 per annum.

  Where it may win over many with its stylish new looks, the price conscious and savvy consumers of today could be quick to see past its best attributes.

SsangYong has certainly come a long way since it was last sold in Ireland and the new Rexton and Rodius promise big things.  The Korean giant is making its mark and certainly here to stay.

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